Alveolar bone dimensional changes of post-extraction sockets in humans: a systematic review

J Clin Periodontol. 2009 Dec;36(12):1048-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01482.x.


Objective: To review the literature to assess the amount of change in height and width of the residual ridge after tooth extraction.

Material and methods: MEDLINE-PubMed and the Cochrane Central register of controlled trials (CENTRAL) were searched through up to March 2009. Appropriate studies which data reported concerning the dimensional changes in alveolar height and width after tooth extraction were included. Approximal height change, mid-buccal change, mid-crestal change, mid-lingual change, Alveolar width change and socket fill were selected as outcome variables. Mean values and if available standard deviations were extracted. Weighted mean changes were calculated.

Results: Independent screening of the titles and abstracts of 1244 MEDLINE-PubMed and 106 Cochrane papers resulted in 12 publications that met the eligibility criteria. The reduction in width of the alveolar ridges was 3.87 mm. The mean clinical mid-buccal height loss was 1.67 mm. The mean crestal height change as assessed on the radiographs was 1.53 mm. Socket fill in height as measured relative to the original socket floor was on an average 2.57 mm.

Conclusion: During the post-extraction healing period, the weighted mean changes as based on the data derived from the individual selected studies show the clinical loss in width to be greater than the loss in height, assessed both clinically as well as radiographically.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Bone Loss / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Smoking
  • Tooth Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Tooth Socket / surgery*